Data security is critical given the volume of PII and transaction data being collected and stored by businesses. Any security breach, no matter how big or small, can tarnish your reputation and turn away customers. It happens everywhere, such as the loyalty program information breach Panera endured in the spring of 2018.
Data breaches are high-cost disasters that are best handled by being proactive in terms of securing data. The billions of dollars that retailers lost as a result of data breaches in recent years are a stark reminder that nobody’s data safety should be taken for granted. Do you have a robust security protection plan in place? How often are you reviewing and updating your security protocols in keeping pace with the evolution of data and security breaches?
As hackers get more creative in mining business and consumer data, the pressure grows on you to select innovative security solutions that do not take away from the customer experience or slow down your business processes.
Securing Transactions Through EMV Chip Reader Technology
Reports of data breaches that are centered around credit card transactions, such as those reported by Target and TJ Maxx, makes card reader technology a great place to start. Having the best card reader tech in use by your business will win half of the security battle for you. The latest state-of-the-art authentication and security systems on the market not only bring advanced security functionality to you right out of the box but are also going to present a spectrum of long-term support and patching options to keep card reader security at the top of its game.
EMV chip readers are a must in this arena and are much easier to secure and maintain than legacy swipe card readers. While many modern POS systems include EMV readers as part of the solution, it is important to note that this is not always the case. Government regulations now hold businesses liable for fraudulent transactions when an EMV card reader is not present. This can create financial losses for you in addition to eroding customer faith that you value the security of their personal data.
A significant portion of the losses incurred by not using an EMV chip reader are in the form of chargebacks, According to a 2018 study by Verifi, consumer charge disputes and chargebacks led to a $31 billion in fraudulent transactions, with merchants absorbing $19 billion of this in loses. The study also found that 62% of consumers reduce their interactions with a merchant after a breach, making card-based data breaches a severe detriment to short and long-term success.
It is important to maintain high levels of data security as well as transparency around how you secure your customers’ information. In addition to replacing legacy card readers with EMV readers, you should make sure that card data and analytics are not stored anywhere within your POS system (like some retailers had been doing), but is instead stored with your card processor, preferably in the cloud. Whether you own a bar, run a small retail shop, or operate a food truck, it’s important to handle cards carefully.
Access Control for Limited Permissions
Of course, while external data tampering is likely your top concern, you also need to make sure you’re keeping sensitive information away from the eyes of your employees. This is where tighter access controls come in handy. If your POS system doesn’t afford you the ability to set roles and limit who can access sensitive data at any given time, you’re leaving yourself vulnerable to the possibility of internal information tampering.
It’s a good idea to set roles for each of your employees with custom permissions that limit what they can and cannot do within the POS system. This way, you’re safeguarding any more sensitive actions from being misused and restricting access to those with managerial roles or higher. It’s a crucial component of point of sale security that should be taken lightly. Though all employers want to have faith in their hires, you can never be too safe in today’s data-heavy world.
Security Strategies Include Cloud Compatibility
Utilizing the cloud to its fullest potential provides you with innovative ways to further harden your business security procedures while ensuring the safety of all of your data, and your customers’ data as well. The move to a cloud-based POS system grants you more business flexibility in addition to higher levels of security while removing the impact of physical theft of devices such as computers, external hard drives, or tablet POS registers.
You gain additional access to your data, which is especially important if you are running across multiple sites. This allows you to view your data 24/7, typically using a smartphone or tablet app, giving you a better response if something seems amiss.
However, for this to be successful, you will need to store your data in an encrypted state using a secure service. Secure storage options are often used by large businesses as well as government agencies, including the CIA. The technology behind this has long been vetted and tested and is a safe way to manage and secure your data while protecting your customer’s information.
It’s also critical to ensure that your digital communications are properly secured. If you’re operating without an SSL, you’re not doing enough to protect the sensitive data of both your business and your customers. HTTPS and PCI compliance are important for this step and they mitigate the risk factor of operating in a cloud environment.
Ensure the Best Point of Sale Security
Ensuring that you are protecting the data of those you rely on for your continued success is a vital element in growing your reputation and revenues. Security, while needing to be taken very seriously, is also an exceedingly complex issue to address. Going it alone in these regards can actually make things worse, not better, as any missed opportunities for improvement can lead your data gates wide open to attack.
Seeking POS guidance is a game changer for your operational state of mind. When you are searching for a valued mentor, you will want to choose one that has a high degree of securing POS solutions across a multitude of industries.
The need for expert advice around ensuring the security of your data and systems is vital and works to reduce the risks of day-to-day operations. Here at talech we work to understand your needs for flexible, secure POS systems, and will devise a solution to fit your data and device security requirements. The wide range of hardware and software solutions we have to choose from ensures we have the solution you need. Contact us today to sign up for a demo and to learn more about how talech can be your expert POS partner.